Georgia is so small that many people are unaware of the fact that the regions of the country are quite different from each other. So is the typical cuisine of those regions. It is totally understandable that people might know know it. But would you order a Wiener wurst in Hamburg or have a pasta napolitana in Milano?
“Supra” means “tablecloth” in Georgian, but now this word also means the festive table. “Festive” doesn’t mean an occasion as birthday or wedding though. There is always something to celebrate – an arrival of the guest from far away (be it an uncle of a cousin from the neighbouring town or the university fellow of your third cousin’s son from France – it can be one of important reasons to prepare lots of food, get some homemade wine and chacha, and give in to merciless feasting.
I was invited to the family of my friend, who have recently started a home-based restaurant in Vakiri (near Sighnaghi, Kakheti region), and the reason to start the feast was our arrival. What could be more pleasant!
The in-laws are living there and work in the field a lot, so the food was all homemade and fresh, as well as wine and chacha. I want to show you several dishes from our table, so that you would know: this is what you have in Kakheti. Not Ajaruli khachapuri and even not khinkali.
Here you have: fish in vinegar sauce, cabbage rolls and Rkatsiteli wine (unfiltered).
Aubergines with walnut sauce. Pickled peppers and jonjoli (sprouts of Staphylea colchica) in Kakhetian sunflower oil. Seasonal vegetables.
Young potatoes with dill and beetroot in red tkemali sauce, local cheese (not aged one; the young one), Kakhetian bread (shotis puri / dedas puri) and of course, homemade chacha. While in Georgia, always smell the transparent liquid!
Music and singing are also an important part of the table. The kids from Vakiri joined us and performed a good dozen of regional tunes.
You might know that toasting tradition in Georgia is also quite important – starting with a toast for God, proceeding to the reason of gathering, continuing to family, women, men, those who passed away and to the future generations, to the region and of course to the hosts in the end.
Here are they, here is the family: my friend Tamara (in the center), her husband (on the very left), her lovely in-laws (the ones who created the whole thing basically) and the grandmother, who is older than 80, but still helps out at home and in the garden.
I’m going to visit them quite frequently, so if you are looking for a real experience of Kakhetian cuisine and hospitality, check out the facebook page of the restaurant Vakirelebi and contact Tamara to book the table!
P.S.: you know I never place the advertisement, so this case is not an exception 😉 See you in Kakheti one day!